Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario have executed an agreement with ONxpress Transportation Partners for the On-Corridor Works project, which is the largest project in Metrolinx’s GO Rail Expansion program.
The goal of the project is to deliver all-day, two-way service on five core lines of the GO Transit network including the Lakeshore West, Lakeshore East, Kitchener, Barrie and Stouffville lines.
"The GO Expansion program is the backbone of a historic investment in transit, connecting new subways, new light-rail lines and local transit into a tightly integrated regional network. This and more will be delivered by the ONxpress team, who proposed service levels that far surpass our GO Expansion full business case and will transform GO Transit into a world class transit system to move the region like never before," said Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster.
Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario describe the On-Corridor Works project as a “single, innovative, fully-integrated contract” that will see ONxpress responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining all GO Rail infrastructure and trains for 25 years. The project will include adding more than 200 kilometers (124.3 miles) of new track and electrifying more than 600 kilometers (372.8 miles) of track. A new electric train fleet will also be introduced that could reach speeds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph) between stations.
“Building Ontario through critical infrastructure projects like GO Rail Expansion will unlock the potential of the economic engine of our province – the Greater Golden Horseshoe,” said Caroline Mulroney, Ontario Minister of Transportation.
Ontario Associate Minister of Transportation Stan Cho added, “Transforming the GO rail network and delivering two-way, all-day service will be a game-changer for the people of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. With quicker and more convenient ways to get from Point A to Point B throughout the region, people will thrive with easier access to home, work and recreation.”
The delivery model
Arriving at a winning proponent started in March 2018 with the process to prequalify for the contract. Four teams were invited to bid on the project in 2019 and ONxpress was named the first proponent for the project in February 2022.
The project is being delivered using a Progressive Design-Build-Operate-Maintain model (DBOM), which uses a collaborative approach between the contractor and project owner. ONxpress and Metrolinx will enter the Development Phase to finalize the scope, risk allocation and pricing of various elements of the project. The Development Phase is required before the project’s contractual schedule and price is finalized and Metrolinx explains the complexity of the On-Corridor Works project requires a two-year Development Phase.
The government of Ontario says construction is expected to start in 2023, the Development Phase will conclude in 2024 and incremental opportunities to add service will begin between 2025 and 2026.
"Over the last two years, Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx have adapted our contracting approach for these important On-Corridor works. The result is the awarding of a contract that will allow us to work collaboratively with our partners to implement an expanded and modernized GO transit system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that meets our future transportation needs," said Infrastructure Ontario President and CEO Michael Lindsay.